In Hindi, there is a famous quote that people often say, “Choron ko saare nazar aate hain chor”. Which translates to, ‘Thieves always think that other people are thieves too.”
It’s a commentary on your world view really. If you are a good person, then you will see the best in others, but the opposite is also true. If you are capable of dubious behaviour, the likelihood is that you will you suspect others of the same.
It’s not always the case, I know. Sometimes life can beat the positivity out of you, perhaps you’ve been hurt by people one too many times, and that’s it – try as hard as you might, you are no longer able to find the good in others. You build walls to keep others out and view even the good that people do, with suspicion.
The thing is, you can’t give up on people. You can’t live your life believing that there is no good in the world. It’s not a way to live. It will make your life unbearable. Granted, there are people who do not wish you any happiness. There are those who wish to see you falter and fail in endeavours. However, there are also those who are truly good and positive. Who you can share both your problems and your successes with equally, and they won’t treat you any differently.
All too often, people will not share their problems with anyone. There are so many reasons for this. Sometimes people have an image to maintain – a glossy image of success – pride will never let them share with others that anything in their life is less than perfect. Sometimes people just don’t know who they can trust. They have been bitten in the past by people who betrayed them – and that experience was enough, they can’t confide in anyone, so they internalise their troubles, keeping them tightly locked in.
We’re constantly told aren’t we? Talk to people. Don’t keep your problems to yourself. A problem shared, is a problem halved – etc, etc, etc.
However, I’m going to ask you a question. Be honest! When someone has admitted to you that they are finding a situation in their life hard…does your opinion of that person change? Do you suddenly feel that they are not as capable as you once thought? Do you feel that they are not as valuable or useful to you as you once thought?
The reason that I ask these questions is simply this – over the years, being the people watcher that I am, I have watched people receive temporary relief by confiding their troubles, and speaking to others…but then…I’ve also seen the aftermath. Those people who have admitted that they are finding life tricky – they are suddenly treated like pariahs. People want nothing to do with them. It’s almost as though admitting that you have a problem with something in life – has made you a failure.
You will disagree with me, I’m sure. Berate me even. Why the heck am I writing things like this, when it could discourage people from talking about their problems, instead of speaking out and seeking help.
I’m definitely not saying that. Honestly. I am a huge advocate of people talking about their problems, and letting that toxic stress out of their bodies. But there are some conditions. If you’re experiencing problems in your life, only confide in those who are truly genuine people. You will know who they are – they would be there for you anytime – regardless. You don’t need to impress them. There are no conditions in their love and affection for you. They are there. Always. However, not everyone has somebody like that in their life. If you do not have anyone in your life that you trust to this extent – then do not bother to speak to just any old person. Go straight to a professional. A doctor. A therapist. A counsellor.
You see, confiding in the wrong person, or people, can make things worse in the long run. Life is a strange type of line graph. We experience ups and downs in our life – and speaking to people who are not mature or wise enough to understand that – who, once you have spoken to them, you have tarred yourself with the brush of failure – instead of ridding yourself of toxicity – you are unwittingly inviting even more of it into your life.
The title of my blog is ‘I wish…’. There is a reason for this – I wish that we lived in a world where although people pay lip service to the fact that we should speak about their problems – that people were actually able to say that they were struggling without there being any judgement or negative repercussions. The fact of the matter is that any worries or problems are temporary. They will not last forever. The problems or difficulties that you may be having now, they don’t define you. You aren’t weak because you are finding life tricky. But sadly, not everyone understands this. Not everyone appreciates this.
So, my message is – speak. If life is feeling tough – speak. If something is feeling hard – speak. But speak to the right people. Life is a learning curve, so sometimes you only find the right people, by speaking to the wrong people first. But do speak.